"Bounce" begins in a hotel room as a man stuffs a dead body into his luggage and wheels it out into the hallway. A maid meets him in the hallway and asks if he found his friend; he tells her yes, he did. The man then dumps the body in the trash and checks out of the hotel under the guise of our very own Anthony DoNozzo.
The next day, Gibbs asks Tony if he has an alibi for the previous evening. Clearly hungover, he affirms that he was out with their Japanese police counterparts. Gibbs says he is relieved to hear that.
The team gears up and arrives at the hotel to investigate the dumped body, and it is revealed that someone had checked out the night before under Tony's name. The hotel desk clerk says that the impostor look a little like Tony, but more fit. The manager turns over the hotel surveillance tapes and a key card, then asks that this be done as quickly as possible.
We learn that the victim, a mailman named Justin Grady, had been strangled with a wire and stabbed with a three-inch blade. The maid and another guest had described seeing a man in the hallway that matched Tony's description. As Tony steps out of the hotel to take a breather, a man approaches and asks if Tony remembers him.
Tony recognizes the man, named Renny - Tony had led an investigation of Renny for an embezzlement charge while Gibbs was "retired," and the judge gave Renny three years for his crime. Justin Grady, the dead mailman, had testified against Renny.
In interrogation, Renny tells Gibbs he will only speak to Tony and insists he never committed the embezzlement he was convicted of. He says that while he wanted Justin dead, he didn't murder him; he only wanted to meet with Justin and could only arrange it by pretending to be Tony. Renny gives Tony a USB drive that he says contains evidence to prove his innocence. Since it had been his case before, Gibbs tells him to take the lead now - rule #38: your case, your lead.
Quick to take charge, Tony doles out the marching orders: McGee to look in to the victim's background, Ziva to examine the hotel surveillance tapes, and Gibbs to look into the USB drive. When Gibb's phone rings and he tosses it to Tony; it's Abby telling him she's examined the evidence they found at the hotel.
In her lab, Abby talks to Tony as if he were Gibbs. She tells him the murderer washed his hands after killing Justin, leaving a partial print on the soap dispenser. Later, McGee tells Tony there is nothing unusual in Justin's bank statements, but will request a judge to give him permission to delve further into his record. Gibbs reports that Renny was wrongfully convicted of the embezzlement; the USB drive proves that he was in Iraq when the crime took place and there was evidence that the documents had been forged.
Tony gathers the team and says that while he acknowledges that Renny did not embezzle, he still believes Renny murdered Justin. Tony orders Ziva to look into the transcripts of Renny's case and tells McGee to look into the interview files.
Ducky tells Tony that Justin had a fever when he died, which alters the time of death; Tony realizes Renny had an alibi after all as he was having dinner when Justin died.
Renny is released, and Tony apologizes for sending him to prison and offers to write a letter to help in his appeal. He asks Renny who he thinks set him up, but Renny is shocked that Tony expects him to help.
Later, Tony meets with Abby, who has digitized the partial print from the soap dispenser in the hotel room. Tony provides her with a list of fingerprints of Renny's former co-workers, and she gets a match. Tony tells the team they have a suspect, and they pay a visit to a man named Carl Davis.
When they arrive at Carl's house, his wife answers the door and tells them that he is out of town. They enter anyway, and find Davis is gagged and tied to the bed, his face badly bruised and blood on the pillow. His wife says she was just fooling around with him, but it's clear to the team that she was about to burn him alive using lighter fluid. McGee finds an envelope of photos picturing Davis with another woman. Davis is surprised to hear about Justin's death and says he was in Hawaii with his mistress at the time of the murder.
Abby apologizes to Tony for leading the team to Carl; she discovers that the soap dispenser was stolen from Davis's home and planted in the hotel room.
McGee announces that there is evidence of a third embezzler in Renny's case, and Tony tells him to find out who it is. Tony goes on to hold a secret meeting with Palmer, looking for advice. Palmer tells Tony to ask Renny for his help.
Tony goes to Renny's house only to find the building full of smoke, fire alarms blazing. He breaks in and finds evidence of a struggle. He calls out but there is no answer. An investigation reveals a prime rib burning in the over, and a bloody knife. Tony suspects that Renny has been kidnapped and fears he may already have been killed.
The team gears up to find Renny, and Gibbs pulls Tony aside as he sees his man getting more and more frustrated. Tony admits how guilty he feels over getting Renny thrown in jail when he didn't do anything wrong. Gibbs gives him a pep talk, telling Tony he's doing a great job leading the investigation and to get back in the zone to see it through. Gibbs tells him to trust his gut; Tony says he'd rather trust Gibbs's gut.
Then Abby interrupts to say that the blood on the knife doesn't match Renny's DNA, but that an officer, Mitch, left DNA evidence on the weapon. Tony calls Mitch into the office, and accuses him of being an accomplice with Justin and Carl Davis in the embezzlement. Mitch says Carl attacked him when he arrived at the hotel and that he left the knife at the hotel. As Tony exits the interrogation room, McGee tells him that Justin was just indicted for mail fraud. Ziva arrives with news that the photos of Carl having an affair were fake. They figure out that Renny set up the embezzlers to turn on each other.
Tony finds Renny at the airport carrying a bag Tony believes holds all the embezzled money. Renny opens it up and shows him a pile of clothes. Tony sees that Renny has a ticket to a Caribbean island. Tony leaves the airport and tells Gibbs that he couldn't find Renny, must have missed him.